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Planning for a Demonstration Lesson Part 1

In this first installment of a video series, Clare Landrigan takes a team of grades 3-5 teachers through the steps of planning for a demonstration lesson.

Making Kids Aware of Their Thinking

If we stopped every time a child was thinking, wondering or connecting to our read aloud, we’d lose the continuity of the writing. Jennifer McDonough teaches students gestures to give her feedback about when and how kids are thinking.

Sharon Taberski on Comprehension Instruction (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Sharon Taberski chats with Franki Sibberson about comprehension instruction across the grades.

Using Animated Short Films to Teach Inference

Here’s a problem many teachers share – students are far too literal when it comes to inferring while reading. Ellie Gilbert finds animated short films readily available on the web are a terrific tool for helping students move beyond literal interpretations of text.

Connecting Yoga and Character Traits in Literature Study

If you are a yoga devotee, you will enjoy this feature.  Ann Williams discovers yoga and literature mix beautifully as she helps her 4th grade students explore character traits.

Big Ideas: Balancing Plans with Authentic Response

Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan learn important lessons about planning, themes, and life when they share Knuffle Bunny with a group of kindergartners.

Acquiring Knowledge Two or Three Strategies at a Time

Amanda Adrian knows that a teachers learning new skills need accurate and timely identification of what's next as support.

A Closer Look at Anchor Charts

Shari Frost has a gift for helping us think about purpose and this article is no exception as she turns her attention to the benefits of intentional anchor charts.

Teaching Stamina Strategies to First Graders

Tammy Mulligan works with two seven-year-olds to teach them strategies for building reading stamina.

Book Clubs: Setting the Stage with Conferring

We want students to discuss books in thoughtful, sophisticated ways in book clubs, but those skills don’t always come naturally.  (Wait – do those skills ever come naturally?) Beth Lawson explains how she confers with individual children in her third-grade classroom to prepare them for independent book clubs with peers.

Clearing Up Confusion

Katie Doherty works closely with a student who has an unusual request – he wants to take home a basal anthology for "pleasure reading."  She puts a different text in his hands, and uses what she learns from the experience to design a for lesson her 6th grade students.

Teaching Students Retelling Strategies

Retelling is an essential skill for readers, and it’s one that is crucial for success on most state exams too.  In Part 1 of a two-part series, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share strategies and sample lessons.

Next Steps: Thinking about Retelling During Reading

Retelling is an essential skill for readers, and it’s one that is crucial for success on most state exams too.  In Part 2 of a two-part series, Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan share strategies and sample lessons in this installment.

Connecting Students, Wall Charts, and Reading

In this conference with third-grade student Jeffrey, Beth Lawson helps this young reader think through the importance of developing stamina to get through the first 50 pages of a book.

Digging Deeper with Rereading

In this video from Katie DiCesare’s first-grade classroom, Katie uses the strategy of rereading to help students look more closely at words—in this case, words that rhyme.

Ready-to-Go Readers’ Theater Books

If you want to do more with readers’ theater to promote fluency, but can’t afford one of those expensive kits, you’ll enjoy this booklist.  Shari Frost has compiled her favorite  readers’ theater books with texts and illustrations students love.

Towards Thoughtful Strategy Instruction

Sometimes the pendulum swings so hard in education that it’s hard not to feel whiplash. Shari Frost considers critiques of strategy instruction, analyzing what’s valid and what’s not in attacks on the flurry of post-its in classrooms.

Books for Strategy Studies

Andie Cunningham has some thoughtful recommendations for books to use in strategy studies.

Just Because It’s Skinny, Doesn’t Mean It’s Easy: Matching Books to Transitional Readers in Grades 2-4

Franki Sibberson writes about her evolution in choosing books for transitional readers in grades 2-4. Franki includes a handy list of criteria for evaluating whether new short chapter books are appropriate for young readers.

Using Poetry to Promote Reading Fluency

Aimee Buckner shares how to use a mentor text to build fluency through poetry.

Build Fluency with Books That Are Fun for Kids to Read Aloud Over and Over and Over Again

Here’s a booklist of delightful titles that will build fluency skills for students — both as read alouds, and during independent reading.

Wide Open Spaces: Learning from “Not-Just-Right” Books

When is it okay for a child to read a "not-just-right" book, especially one with themes that might be a bit sophisticated or of questionable taste? Andrea Smith confronts this issue as a parent, and thinks through what it might mean for her teaching.

Selecting Texts for Strategy Teaching with English Language Learners in Mind

Text selection for English language learners poses special challenges. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan explain how the criteria for “just-right books” are different for ELLs, and provide practical examples of how teachers use these principles of book selection in their classrooms.

Envisioning Writing: Wow Words and Mental Images in 1st Grade

In this minilesson, Katie DiCesare uses the book My Cat Copies Me to help her first-grade students “envision” their writing drafts. The lesson focuses on creating mental images to conjure stronger verbs and adjectives while writing.

First Grade Small Group: Chunking

In this small group from Courtney Tomfohr's first-grade classroom, students work on their "chunking" skills.

Conferring About Character Traits

In this conference from a fifth-grade classroom, Clare Landrigan meets with a student to reinforce learning from a whole-class lesson on inferring and character traits.

Small Group After Demonstration Lesson

In this small group after a demonstration lesson in a 5th grade classroom, Clare Landrigan talks through strategies for inferring the meaning of new words while reading.

Teaching Inferring with Picture Books Part II: Partner Shares

Katie Doherty’s 6th grade students discuss the read-aloud through partner shares.

Teaching Inferring with Picture Books Part III: Whole-Class Debrief

Katie Doherty's 6th grade students debrief after a read-aloud and partner share focused on inferring.

Talking About Synthesis: Metaphors from 2nd Graders

In this remarkable discussion, Lauren Scott's second-grade students chat with their teacher and Principal Karen Szymusiak about metaphors for synthesis.

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